There’s a category of political intellectuals who proudly proclaim themselves “realists,” then proceed to defend and advance a deeply faith-based agenda that centers on the ongoing necessity to prepare for war, including nuclear war.
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We have two separate but interrelated issues here.
First, the government is an addict to crooks who say “you can’t live without this, so give me vast amounts of money.” Nuclear war has been historically the highest-paying excuse for these goldbrickers.
Second is the nature of war. War is the abdication of rules between nations. The problem is, if we totally abdicate our rules between two nuclear powers, approximately 100% of each country’s civilians die. We’re currently fighting two brush wars between nuclear powers, one in Ukraine, one in Pakistan.
I object to this framing:
“These intellectuals, as they defend the military-industrial status quo (which often supports them financially), have made themselves the spokespersons for a deep human cancer: a soul cancer. When we prepare for war, we honor a profoundly embedded death wish; indeed, we assume we can exploit it for our own advantage. We can’t, of course. War and hatred link all of us; we can’t dehumanize, then proceed to murder, “the enemy” without doing the same, ultimately, to ourselves.”
The comment accurately points to the military-industrial status quo but then uses it as substitute for that all-encompassing, WE, The People.
Since a lot of persons within that falsely homogenized WE-pool strongly oppose war, do not fight wars, do not kill, and do NOT have any sickness of soul (what they have is a lack of agency within the new pro-war/militarism SPARTA!), it is reprehensible to make that dissent (and collective departure from homage to war, and/or Mars rules) invisible!
The Cancer is not the healthy cell.
The above comment reflects a dangerous and irresponsible stance. Its subtext is that all citizens either think, act, behave, or believe AS soldiers do. It creates an eerie seamlessness between the civilian population and the warrior cults as if both were one in the same.
I tire of this. It may be unconscious on Koehler’s part but what that says is that he’s incurious about such spurious generalities, taking the Christian Original Sin premise and applying it universally to things political, or otherwise pushing an apologia to the military status quo.
'I object to this framing:
‘“These intellectuals, as they defend the military-industrial status quo (which often supports them financially), have made themselves the spokespersons for a deep human cancer: a soul cancer. When we prepare for war, we honor a profoundly embedded death wish; indeed, we assume we can exploit it for our own advantage. We can’t, of course. War and hatred link all of us; we can’t dehumanize, then proceed to murder, “the enemy” without doing the same, ultimately, to ourselves.”…’
Your objection is not warranted. The second sentence of your quote is emminently correct and proper. It is a form of rhetoric, exactly equivalent to “Those who prepare for war, etc.”.
A person does not move to a place which they do not prior consider exists then decides to act in that direction. Make love not war = endeavor peace through personal ability and respect, not industrialize weaponry and ordinance on a path of destruction. Every moment we move a step towards one of those goals. You can’t walk both paths at the same time.
If the fundamental fact of our mutual existence is agreement that we exist for others as well as ourselves, then quite obviously ‘we can’t dehumanize, then proceed to murder, “the enemy” without doing the same, ultimately, to ourselves’ and expect to escape full responsibility for the premeditated fact of prior consent committing ourselves to the creativity of such destruction. Certainly, one would have to abdicate true responsibility with the most wholehearted amnesia available.
The issues I see at work here are so certain that they have a stabilized presence with the most solid of agreements in our common reality as to be constant enough we no longer give them the conscious consideration, maintenance and caring support they require of our dedicated personal effort. As a result, we now suffer the amnesia of apathy and helplessness rendered by the confusion and mystery of misinformation in their regard. Those issues are Justice and Power.
When it comes to nuclear reality, I find it a hazard categorizing individuals beyond the fact they are people in the face of annihilation. If you can’t have faith in your fellow man then you will only ever know war, so we’d better get busy engaging true intellect and find a way to bring about this requisite trust. Of course, that requires a proper education. Now, that would be heaven on earth. Anything else is merely endeavoring the gods of war either tacitly or with full consent.
Any freedom experienced is done so on an individual basis. There will be no family, community, group or nation “free” who are not free individually and do not respect that in others. What does occur as a group is that we fail to uniformly sustain our assembly to press and hold those in charge responsible for the individual decisions which they have been placed in power by us to properly adjudicate. As long as we continue to tolerate the loss of our freedoms, the loss of our education, the loss of our economy and the means to accrue the value of our work through a sound currency, then the gods of war we retain in power will continue their stranglehold on the lives and sufferings of those they hold in servitude as life drones on in the apathy and poverty of ethics required to sustain such conditions.
Ethical justice and merciful power are the goals to which we must rally our Assembly.
The tumor of the Nuclear Industry is not us. It is a destructive cell-line that must be cut out before it spreads.